Monday, January 31, 2011

Decisions, decisions........

I'm starting to think about the first quilt top for the beach cottage. It's so hard, maybe it would be easier if I were following an exact pattern and trying to copy something close to that pattern. But I know how to make a log cabin square so that's what I'm going to do, no pattern to tell me how much fabric to buy so I over-bought but I would have probably done that anyhow and I don't want to have rules that I feel compeled to follow. This is just a fraction of the fabric I've bought. I'm auditioning these for the log cabin squares, my  6 lights, my 6 darks and my center square in coral. I'm thinking of pulling randomly from a pile of light strips and dark strips to create the squares rather than having them all look identical. I do have many other darks but no other lights so I'm not sure if I should try to find more and add them to the mix or what. I have many medium colors that won't work for log cabin but will show up in one of the other quilts. Still not sure on the coral center square, I suppose I might end up having to make up a block to see how I like it. Any advice is welcome. So, these fabrics will sit and marinate for a bit because in the next week I've got to take my Bernina in for it's yearly maintenance - I don't want to miss getting it in on time because if I do it every year on time it's only  $39.95 plus I get 15% off in the shop for the entire year.

Hemming Tulip Table Runners

I thought I'd share how I hem towels, runners, etc. I learned this technique from Marcy Tilton during a weaving guild presentation, Marcy also lives here in Southern Oregon, just a few miles down the road from our previous home, in this home I'm around 40 miles north of her. It makes for a beautiful hem.
I made myself some file folder 'rulers' per Marcy's instruction, cutting them the length of the file folder in numerous widths. I then mark on each one how wide it is, punch a hole in it and hang them all in the sewing room on a metal ring. Over the years I've only replaced these once, they last a long time. Excuse the stained ironing board cover - it's fairly new but it doesn't take long for it to become stained....and we have really good water coming from our well.
For this runner I decided I wanted a 1 3/4" plain weave border on the end of the runners so I turned the runner over, laid the 'ruler' at the bottom of the tulips, folded over the hem once and steam ironed
Next I turned under the raw edge and steam ironed that too
Then add the pins and it's ready to hand hem
Here is the stack of table runners waiting to be hemmed

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

For lack of anything else to show......

For lack of anything else to show for my day here are the two table runners I managed to get woven, just like the ones from yesterday only different colors. Somehow I managed to let 'life' get in the way of weaving, need to go back and revisit my goals for the year....... On a positive note, I love the soft pink with pink tulips.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All in a day's work..........

In-between other chores today I finally got to sit at the loom for a bit. Remember that warp I put on a week ago Monday? Well, finally I tied on and started weaving the tulip table runners, am hoping to get more time to work on other color combos tomorrow, maybe some pink tulips, maybe some yellow.

Here are those socks now that they're finished and off the needles - they'll be packed up and mailed off to my Aunt Ilene in Michigan, my father's brother's wife. Her feet are freezing up there. Will be working on some more for her after I knit up the Poems yarn (below) for a knit hat and fingerless gloves for myself to leave at the beach cottage so I'm prepared for chilly walks. Think I'll start these this evening.

Beach Cottage is coming along......

The beach cottage is coming along....thought I'd post a few pix from this past weekend. More decorating to be done, much furniture to be painted, many pictures/prints need framing so they can be hung on the walls, and hopefully I will get sheer curtains with seashells & starfish ordered this week. We're furnishing it on a shoestring, most furniture was found at antique shops at good prices, only a few new pieces.
 Guest room bookcase - a small, not so subtle hint as to what guests should be doing at the beach cottage
Found this fun shelf and what are actually Christmas ornaments at a new shop in town
 Shells on a little table in our bedroom
 and more shells and seaglass on the lower shelf of the little table
 Found two of these shelves for the bathrooms - they will eventually be painted
 Great large glass dish that will eventually have some sand & shells displayed in it. Right now some glass ornaments I found are residing in it - they will hang in our bedroom window after I get the sheers up. Not sure where the cute little beaded copper otter ornament will reside - just loved him.....and all ornaments were on sale.
 Living room - really wanted the white couch but decided with Bailey the golden retriever it was best not to go with white, well, since the khaki couch is now covered with a quilt for Bailey I guess I could have gone with white......oh well. Love the Kathy Ireland area rugs we found.
 Here's another larger Kathy Ireland area rug. You can barely see the ugly chandelier because it's hung so high it doesn't show. Eventually we'll find the perfect chandelier and fix that problem at the same time. Both of these rooms will look much more comfy once the sheers are hung.
Tea cup collection that belonged to my Aunt Fran, a couple of my teapots on top and my miniature teapots mixed in with the teacups. These teacups were actually belonged to Fran's husband Dave's mother. His family didn't want them back after Fran passed away so my cousin Jim asked me if I'd like them - they're perfect at the beach for tea parties. Eventually this piece of furniture will be painted - maybe one color inside, another on the outside.
And one outside shot. We haven't brought our extra outdoor furniture to the beach cottage for the deck yet so Bailey and I were outside laying on the deck in the sun Saturday and spotted this little nest up high in the tree. It's really tiny, only a few inches across, up way too high for me to get a really good look. Can't wait to see what bird will be laying it's eggs in it this spring.....that is if I can see once the leaves are out. It was a beautiful weekend on the coast - fog and cold weather here at home, sunny and mild at the coast.

Friday, January 21, 2011

More fabric added to the stash

Theresa and I met up in Ashland on Wednesday for some fabric shopping and lunch. Both fabric stores in town were having their annual January sales. We also found some great clothing finds at Kixx which we both found out was a favorite clothing store of both of ours.
Some fun fabrics to add to the quilts for the beach cottage. More lights and darks plus a couple more for the first quilt which will be log cabin....which means more fabric to wash and iron before getting started. These are from Quiltz, great fabric store full of quilting fabrics and a number of surface design supplies.
And here are some fun cottons from Fabric of Vision that are planned for this Marcy Tilton Vogue Pattern. Of course I have some other fabrics, indigo patterns, that have been slated to use with this pattern and they're still sitting in a basket waiting to be sewn. Think I'll sew that jacket first to make sure I want to use these more expensive fabrics for the same pattern, if not I've got a couple other really great simple jacket patterns waiting in the wings. I love the way owner, Sandy, folds the fabric cuts - makes me smile.

So the big problem is now how do I fit sewing in my busy schedule in-between all the other fiber arts that I really want/need to do!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spring on my mind......

Spring is on my mind, not that I mind the winter rains but I love the spring flowers. Daffodils come up here, the ones the ground squirrels haven't eaten, since the deer leave them alone but I love tulips and miss them in my yard.....there are actually 6 of them planted by the former owner that as soon as they appear the deer snatch off their tasty tops. Yesterday I put on a 5/2 perle cotton warp to make some tulip table runners for a holiday table runner exchange. I'm calling them Easter runners since I always think of tulips at Easter but being a spring flower the runner could be used all spring long, not just for a holiday. This picture is from one I happen to have, new warp is on the loom but not tied on the front beam yet, weaving will commence soon. This draft comes from the mongraph by Nellie Burnham called Handwoven Overshot Figures on Eight Harnesses. I love this monograph, such fun designs but many of them would take many more pedals than I have on my loom so I use Tim's Treadle Reducer to quickly figure out the easiest way to treadle, usually pressing down on two treadles at a time in a few spots.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Local Bounty......west side

Following Theresa's lead I'm chiming in with some of my favorite local businesses. I'm located not too far to the west of Theresa, on the western most front of the Rogue Valley.

I have to agree with Theresa, Rogue Creamery has the best cheeses. They used to be located here in Grants Pass but are now in Central Point, they do have a booth at our local grower's market which runs from March-December. All the cheeses are yummy but the award winning blues are my favorites.

Taylor's Sausage is actually located 30 miles south of Grants Pass in Cave Junction where we lived for 11 years before moving to our current home on the north side of GP. They raise the pigs for their own sausage and it's wonderful. The country store also has other varieties of meats and groceries. I get a lamb processed by them every fall, they do a great job.

Now onto sweets. Cary's Toffee is incredible - the best toffee I've ever tasted. They have a storefront full of the most yummy chocolate covered toffee's with windows into the factory so you can watch the toffee being made. When my neice Charlotte sent me 'Flat Stanley' her school project (many of you I'm sure are familiar with Flat Stanley) we went to Cary's - they let me bring Flat Stanley into the production area and we took a picture of him with one of the workers, FS was wearing his hairnet.

Marshmallow Heaven is my newest find. They are located in Rogue River, I found my supply of them at Sandi's Candies in Grants Pass. One of these gourmet marshmallows atop hot cocoa can't be beat.

Tussie Mussies of Williams makes one of my favorite hand lotions, I love the delicate smell of it. I've had a hard time finding it locally lately other than online but I understand that another wonderful shop in the area may be carrying it in the future - Unique Lee Yours. Lee of Unique Lee Yours has a wonderful cross-stitch shop on the north side of the city of Grants Pass. Nice stock, can order anything you'd like, and Lee is the friendliest and most helpful shop owner not to mention a real sweetheart. I only wish I had more time for cross-stitch so I could shop there more often, right now the projects are piled up, need more hours in my day!

And finally another animal organization. Theresa mentioned Dogs for the Deaf in her post. I can't let this post go without mentioning Canine Angels. Sandy and her puppy raisers and trainers train dogs to be placed with children as assistance dogs/companions. There aren't many organizations that provide assistance dogs to children, most are for adults. This is one of the causes I donate to personally and our local spinning group collects cans & bottles that go to a local elementary school to add to what the kids collect to donate the proceeds to Canine Angels.

So, this is a bit  of the local bounty on my end of the valley........hope you enjoy looking at the sites, and hope you decide to try some of the local goodies.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I'm not quite sure why these pictures don't look great but that's life, after trying several times over a period of hours to post them I'm just happy they're up here. Blogger kept saying 'picture rejected' - that's a first of that type of snafu with blogger I've experienced. Anyhow, was taking pix of a few scarves this afternoon and thought I'd share.
Above is painted warp tencel scarf. It's hard to tell but it's a dornick twill. I love the colors in it so much that I kept a variation of this scarf for myself (there were two on the warp). I hemmed the ends and hand beaded the fringe.

This scarf in the crazy crayon colors is from a painted warp that hung in the studio for a couple years because I couldn't believe I dyed these colors together, they were so ugly. Finally one day I decided to go ahead and weave the two scarves off, this one with a purple weft, the other a blue weft. Surprise, surprise - I loved it so much I kept one and wear it all the time. The one I kept has a totally different beaded fringe on it. They look great with blue jeans or blue slacks, striking with a red top, also looks great with a white or purple top. This scarf is a cotton/rayon blend warp and a tencel weft. At this exact moment I can't remember the name of the twill - I'm guessing Wall of Troy but could be wrong. I'll have to try and remember to check that.

Future beach quilt

I've decided it's time to start thinking about the quilts for the beach cottage. Originally I had planned on quilts for all 4 beds (queen, full and 2 twins) but I picked up a couple of antique quilts for the twins in the one bedroom that don't match at all but everytime I walk by that room I smile when I look at them. That tells me don't replace them, leave them on the beds and enjoy them. So here's what I have planned for the full size bed - a log cabin quilt in these colors. The dark teal the center square, the lights and the darks the log cabin pieces. I have no clue if I have enough fabric but you'd think so - there's a total of 18 yards. I just bought on speculation not knowing which beds or what pattern I'd use. And I'm not using an actual 'recipe' other than how to do a log cabin block (which I've done before) so there's no book telling me how much I needed of each color. If I do run out when it comes to the outside border I can find something that will go with. I've chosen the full size to get the purples & lavendars because Sam has said for the almost 28 years we've been married that purple makes his head hurt - at least he won't have to sleep in a room with purple. Not sure what our beds color scheme or pattern will be but it will include shades of teal and maybe a bit of coral.....will figure that out after this one is done. So, not sure when I'll actually start sewing but today I'm washing fabric so it's ready when the mood strikes. And I won't be hand quilting or doing the machine quilting myself - much easier to drop it off for a long arm quilter to do! Need to get something on the loom soon..........

Friday, January 14, 2011

One beat me, the other didn't.....totally.......

Today I decided to try and work on my serger (no pic of that) - I bought this inexpensive Brother serger from Costco in either 1989 or 1990. I never got it serviced or cleaned professionally until a couple years ago, never had a problem with it until I got it professionally serviced - argh! I'm not sure why I took it in, maybe I was feeling guilty because I hadn't. Oh well.....deed is done. So, today I decided to work on it and get it running perfectly again.....well, the machine won the battle. I've followed the book on how to adjust tension and no luck.....and the worst part is that the book has pictures of what bad stitches look like and how to fix them, and there are many of them, what mine looks like is nothing like any of the pictures. So I gave up....I hate giving up but....
So on to the Bernina. No issues with my beloved Bernina that I bought 4 years ago - I love it. I bought a new foot recently, #69, for sewing a rolled hem. Karen, co-owner with hubby Jonathan of our local Bernina shop, took it out of the package at the store and demonstrated it for me back before the holidays. She started the rolled hem a bit differently than Bernina's instructions. Today on scrap fabric I did lots (and I mean lots) of practicing and have finally mastered getting it started perfectly. My problem is, and I hope someone else out there has an answer, is that when I get to the end of a side of my napkin that was already hemmed it doesn't come out even, the top turned over edge is a bit longer. In the Bernina foot book it says to pull the fabric on a bias to remedy this, but after many, many tries this only made that corner look worse. Does anyone else have experience with this? I'm sure other machines have similiar feet so having a Bernina wouldn't matter. If I can't figure it out I will stop by to ask Karen about it next time I'm in Medford, if they were located 10 minutes away I would have been there this afternoon. I'm anxious to make napkins for the beach, we only use cloth napkins here at home and want to do the same over there. And since my serger isn't cooperating I can't do a rolled hem on it! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On the needles......

Since there's no weaving going on here this week thought I'd show what's new on the needles. Some simple sox in Opal sock yarn - love the patterning that Opal yarn comes up with. I knit a rolled top at the top of the cuff followed by some ribbing to hold the sox up and then stockinette. Will be ready to work on the heel this evening.

Today was the turning point for the dreaded winter cold, the worst has passed and I'm starting to feel better......not good enough to give up my Dayquil and Nyquil quite yet. I did hem up the sleeves on 8 long sleeve t's to make them 3/4 sleeves so at least something was accomplished today.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lost days.......

Well, I've lost the past 5 days to the dreaded winter cold, nothing truly horrible like the flu but just enough to make me miserable and not have any energy to get much done. I did make it to the weaving guild meeting on Saturday but on the 45 minute drive home I wondered was I really driving safely? my head was filled with snot (to put it delicately) and impairing my judgement. So, I missed Sewing Sunday (so sad) and missed my other guild meeting yesterday. Dayquil, Nyquil and nose spray do wonders for many symptoms but don't help with the lack of energy or lung function. And today I only had 1/3 dose of Dayquil left - panic set in as I watched the last drip of orange hitting the 'plastic' shooter cup so I added some water to the bottle and shook it up to make sure I didn't miss one tiny bit of that nasty tasting liquor. Hopefully Sam will not forget to pick me up more today on his way home from work.
But I did accomplish a little today, very little, but it was something. I weighed out a big box of Ashland Bay roving that arrived here well over a month ago, I had been ignoring it since there were more important tasks to take care of. That pretty much did me in, I then turned on the mattress pad warmer and laid in bed watching the new Oprah Winfrey network for an hour, then a bubble bath and then a mug of hot cocoa. Boy, have I got the art of milking a cold down!

Obviously nothing happening on the weaving front but I do have a table runner project waiting in the wings for a multi-guild exchange and a pile of pink fibers including pink metallic for a guild challenge, more to come on that later.

So tomorrow I'll be happy if I get a little bit of sewing done. I have, I think, 8 long sleeve t's that have been hanging or piled on the floor in the sewing room for a few months waiting for me to hem up the sleeves, I hate long sleeves but love 3/4 length ones. Hmm, maybe I'll get to wear these before spring comes and it gets warm again. Oh, almost forgot one of the black t's gets to be decorated with shiva paintstiks - fun!

Off to nurse (milk) my cold again sitting by the fire knitting........or playing with my ipad......

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What's going on........

What a great New Year's long weekend we had. While the valleys had snow, then heavy fog and cold weather we were sitting just on the other side of the mountain range on the coast in sunny, bright blue sky, no wind upper 50's temps. Great for walking down the hill to the wharf & Old Town every morning and for driftwood searching on the beach. We hated to come back home to the chilly weather. So, pretty much nothing fiber related happened over the long holiday weekend, just played and relaxed.

I started some new spinning yesterday at my spinning group get together - it's some Falkland that I had dyed starting at one of the roving with yellow and working my way to black at the other end - you can see the first change of color on the bobbin above. I split the roving in half and am spinning half on this bobbin, will spin the other half on another bobbin and then ply them. Don't ask what my plans are for this - it will sit on the shelf and marinate for a while until a project pops into my head.

Today was to be spent in Ashland with Theresa but she's still got a cold hanging on and we thought better of it, will be rescheduled for another day. Since I was home unexpectedly I decided it was time to organize and put everything away in the studio; the loom room and the sewing/craft room both looked like a tornado had come through the rooms. It's looking much better now, I feel like I can now think about the next warps to go on the loom and sewing I want to do.